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Author Topic: Birth Control Pill and Sex
polkadots92
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I have a question regarding birth control and sex. It might sound stupid, but it's something that I'm not really sure of. I have been taking birth control pills for the past 3 months (I just started my 3rd 28 day pack last Sunday). On my last pack, my period started on September 13th and didn't stop until last Sunday. I'm assuming this is just my body reacting to the pills and getting adjusted. Does this mean that the birth control is not effective? As in it isn't protecting me? Which leads me to my next question. Last night, my boyfriend and I started to have sex with out a condom. After about 15 sec, we decided to use a condom and then we continued to have sex. I have read Scarleteen's articles regarding the existence of sperm in pre-cum and how the general conclusion is that sperm is not present in the pre-cum itself, but is trapped in the folds of the urethra from previous ejaculations and comes out with whatever fluid passes though next. My boyfriend had gone to the bathroom various times though out the evening before we started having sex, which the articles claim flushes any excess sperm out. Basically, what I want to know is if pregnancy is something I should be concerend about from this situation or if I am over reacting. Thank you!
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polkadots92
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Just to clarify, my boyfriend did not finish while he was inside me while we were without a condom. I'm even more worried now because I just read on my birth control pill instructions that I should use a back up method of birth control for the first week after I finish the inactive pills (ie this week). So now I am super worried. Does that mean that the pills aren't working? I feel stupid for exposing myself like this. I feel like I'm not safe even though I am on birth control. Thank you for helping me.
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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Hey Polkadots,

Good job on reading the articles etc! True there is sperm in precum, and un-condommed sex is always going to carry a higher risk than without. (Of STI transmition and pregnancy).

But if you're using your birth-control as described there's nothing in what you've said that says the birth control definitely isn't working.

2 weeks of bleeding does sound not-so-comfortable, as you say it could be just part of your adjustment to the pills. It could also be, in general, part of how your body reacts to the pills long term. I would say, however, it could be something to see/call the doctor about, especially if it happens again, even if just for your own peace of mind.

There's actually some sort of risk involved whenever we have sex. It's more just about how we manage that. It IS good just to go with your gut, and if you feel worried about pregnancy, to just take a pregnancy test to make sure. That way you get to feel more in control over and awareness of your own uterus.

Depending on what you want, if it means more comfortable, more pleasurable, less worrisome sex, perhaps you could talk to your boyfriend about keeping condoms part of your sex life much more of the time?

This article outlines the risk-defying effectiveness of using barriers plus hormonal birth control, it could be if help if you want to try that. The Buddy System: Effectiveness Rates for Backing Up Your Birth Control With a Second Method

[ 10-07-2012, 09:20 AM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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polkadots2
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So has the exposure that I described sounds like a high or even moderate risk for pregnancy? It was only one day ago. Would a pregnancy test even work?
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Onionpie
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You have to wait 2 weeks -- or until you've miss a period, whichever comes first -- to take a pregnancy test and have the results be accurate. We don't answer pregnancy risk assessment questions, but we have all the information you need to be able to assess the situation yourself. Here are the articles that will help you with this:

Pregnancy Scared?

Where DID I Come From? A Refresher Course in Human Reproduction

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polkadots2
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Yes, your articles are very helpful, but I'm asking a question that I have found your articles don't specifically answer. I'm scared right now and all I want to know is if I really need to be or not. I'm on birth control, I had un-protected sex for all of 15 seconds, if that, and my boyfriend did not finish with having unprotected sex with me. That's the question I have and I feel like its a little too specific for an article to fully answer. I really hope you can help me. I'vefound that scarleteen has been able to answer these kinds of questions for me in the past. Thank you!
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Onionpie
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As I said, we don't answer pregnancy risk questions. For more info on why that is, please read this: http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/28/t/007116.html

All of the factors you mentioned are included in that "pregnancy scared" article. Is there any specific information in that article you would like us to clarify? How about you go through and make a list of what that article says in regards to risks of the specific factors you've mentioned, and share that list with us here? Would that help you?

[ 10-07-2012, 10:29 AM: Message edited by: Onionpie ]

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polkadots92
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So from with what i gathered from the article, my risk was essentially non-existent. I do have a question about the withdrawal method the article mentions and how it says that one of the reasons why this doesn't work is because it's not done completely. What does that mean? And I had a question about my birth control. I posted this earlier on in my post, but I think it got over looked. In my instructions, it says that I should used a backup method to my birth control for the week after taking the inactive pills. Does this mean that those pills weren't working?
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Robin Lee
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Hi polkadots92,

Could you copy the bit about the withdrawal method that was confusing to you, so I can most accurately address that confusion? Thanks. [Smile]

I'm not sure why the information in your pill packet would say that. So long as you start your new pack right away after finishing the inactive pills (that is, don't miss a day of taking a pill) the birth control remains at its same level of effectiveness.

here's some more information on that:

How do birth control pills really work, even during the placebo period?

--------------------
Robin

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Onionpie
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When the withdrawal method is not used "completely" or properly, it means that the penis was not totally withdrawn from the vulva before ejaculation occurred -- that means there's the possibility of some ejaculate having gotten into the vagina or on the vulva before the penis was withdrawn completely.

Sorry your question about the birth control got overlooked! The suggestion of a backup method doesn't mean that the pills were totally ineffective -- backup methods are suggested when people are just starting out on the pill because it can take some time for the hormones to start having an affect and reach their most effective and ALSO because a lot of people have a hard time getting a hang of taking a pill every day, so backup is often suggested in case people aren't in the habit of taking their pills on time. Each pill brand varies in when they advise you use a backup method, so we do always suggest that you follow the instructions on your specific brands' sheet and backup when they say to. But it doesn't mean that your pill was totally ineffective.

I'm not 100% sure what they mean by their instructions/why they suggest that, but again all pill brands are different so I'm just unfamiliar with that particular brand -- to get more information on your specific pills you can phone the doctor that prescribes them or the pharmacist that supplies them, they'll be able to give you more specific information [Smile]

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polkadots92
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Ok, well that didn't happen in my situation, withdrawal was successful!
And my pill also suggests that I take it around the same time every day. I usually take it around 8 in the morning before I got to class. But on this weekend I took it probably closer to 11. Will that effect how the pill works?
Thank you so much for all your help, sorry for all the questions. I'm just trying to make sure I have as much information so that I don't make the same mistakes.
My last question that I have is regarding Plan B. From the article that you sent me and the information that I have on my birth control pills, my chances of getting pregnant are low is even existent, but is it still a good idea to take it? It's now been a little over 24 hours now.

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polkadots92
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Also, I'm not sure if this makes any difference, but my boyfriend had gone to the bathroom several times that night before we had sex. From what I understand from your articles, pre-cum has been found to not have sperm in it unless there was a recent ejaculation that the remnants did not get "flushed out.
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Robin Lee
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Taking Plan B will not make any difference, since you've been taking the birth control pill consistently. IN other words, no need to take it.

You're also okay on the later time you've been taking your pill this weekend. The most important thing is to take the pill consistently at the same time of day; taking it at exactly the same time isn't necessary, though doing so does help a lot of people remember to take it every day.

--------------------
Robin

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polkadots92
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Thank you so much Robin. I feel so much better. So for future reference, would my boyfriend and I be ok to have sex without a condom as long as I am taking an oral contraceptive? I don't think I'll want to after this scare, but if this does come up in the future, should I be concerned or is it ok?
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Robin Lee
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You're very welcome.

Condoms provide protection not only against unwanted pregnancy but also against STI (sexually transmitted infection) transmission. are you and your boyfriend up to date on your STI screenings?

In terms of pregnancy prevention, using condoms in addition to oral contraceptives does reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancy. So, if you're concerned about pregnancy risks, using condoms is something you can do to both alleviate your fears and give yourself added protection.

--------------------
Robin

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polkadots92
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Yes, we're both up to date. I was just wondering if relying on my birth control alone occasionally is ok
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Karybu
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That really depends on how much risk you're comfortable with, in terms of both pregnancy and STIs. Some people find that they're alright relying on the pill alone for pregnancy prevention (although obviously that doesn't provide any protection from STIs) while others want the reassurance of having two methods.

Regardless of the pregnancy risk aspect, we're always going to advise using condoms purely from an STI protection standpoint, unless you and your partner are up to date on your STI screenings with negative results.

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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polkadots92
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Ok. I agree with that. I'm definitely using condoms with my pill from now on. Thanks so much! You have put my worries to rest [Smile]
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Karybu
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Glad to hear it. [Smile]

--------------------
"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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